A few minutes ago, this blog post was very long. I’d been working on it all day! It was like 1,200 words long and I wasn’t half finished. Then I deleted all that shit, because actually, what’s true and worth saying about Donald Trump’s surprise firing of FBI director James Comey is pretty simple.
1. The suckers who convinced themselves that the fucking FBI could ever be a repository for hope in the ability of American institutions to thwart an authoritarian madman like Donald Trump are not as bad as the cynics who know better but find it convenient to write utterly ahistorical bullshit like “One of the most important tasks of the director of the FBI is to ensure that his institution remains studiously neutral, both in perception and in reality” to inflate their arguments about how bad this is.
2. The FBI is fucking evil. To the extent that its investigation into ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government actually existed and may eventually have uncovered something that could be pinned to the president himself, yes, sure, okay, that probably is the reason Comey got shitcanned last night. It would also be a complete anomaly in the history of an organization that only ever has taken a break from bootlicking and propping up entrenched power in the moments when J. Edgar Hoover felt obliged to blackmail somebody. If Trump decommissioned the entire bureau tomorrow it would be the first good thing he ever did in his entire goddamn life. He probably won’t. It’s too useful to him. Being useful to the powerful is what it’s for.
3. Some other jobs that, if dull-eyed handwringing shit-for-brains James Comey held them, he would warrant replacement: All of them. All of the jobs. James Comey could not pour a fucking milkshake without then pouring it over his own goddamn head to make sure nobody accused him of a pro-milkshake agenda. That he fretted so publicly over the gestures and performance of evenhandedness did not make him any less of a complete stooge. James Comey is a moron.
4. That James Comey is a moron and should not be trusted to run a shoeshine stand, much less a federal agency with the power to wiretap my phone, does not mean that Donald Trump—a moron who should not be trusted to run a shoeshine stand, much less all the federal agencies with the power to wiretap my phone—fired him for being a moron who should not be trusted to run a shoeshine stand, much less a federal agency with the power to wiretap my phone. In fact, that is not why Donald Trump fired him, and everyone knows it, and if you say otherwise, that will be how I know for sure that you are pretending, eating shit and calling it sugar.
5. Of course the next FBI director will be a stooge at best, and an unapologetic outright stormtrooper at worst; whoever it is almost certainly will be worse than Comey—a guy who, if nothing else, at least could plausibly deny being a willing tool of power. Then again, J. Edgar Hoover was not a stooge, but he was a sociopath untroubled by the least concern about justice or neutrality who tried to convince Martin Luther King Jr. to kill himself. Worry about the competency and personal character of the next FBI director is rooted in the baseless and offensive idea that people like you and I should want the job of running the FBI to be done well, and not abolished altogether.
6. To the question of whether Donald Trump’s firing of James Comey was good or bad, his reasons for doing it actually are not all that relevant. It’s bad because, for whatever reason or impulse made him do it, he either did not anticipate or did not care about either the political shitstorm it would cause or the legitimate fear it would engender among regular people that we might be watching the United States slip into out-and-out autocracy before our eyes. It’s bad for precisely the same reasons that having Donald fucking Trump as the president of the United States is bad: He is the actual worst and most toxic possible person, for this or for anything else, and he might do any stupid fucking thing for any stupid fucking reason or for no fucking reason at all at any fucking time, and that is fucking terrifying, and each new justification of the constant background terror of having Donald fucking Trump as the president of the United States finds each of us with fewer internal resources for enduring that terror.
When he won the election, was your fear that he might fire James Comey? No. It was not. It was that he is a nightmare person, a horrible radioactive taunting mockery of humanity, who might do anything, including things much worse than firing a moron bureaucrat whom everybody wanted fired. The problem is not that your good buddy James Comey, valiant bulwark against the Trump menace, doesn’t get to run an evil and powerful institution anymore. The problem is that the president is an incompetent fucking maniac who might take a blowtorch to any particular longstanding norm of the American political system for any reason at any time, including, by implication, the ones that offer some hope we might eventually elect someone better or at least other than him to run the country.
7. All of which is to say, this is very bad. But you already knew that! This blog is over!